Monday, November 15, 2010

What To Do When They Stop Napping...

I have been blessed with a good napper. Well, I guess it wasn't always that way. But we worked hard, with a lot of consistency and sacrifice, to make it so. It's important for kids to get enough sleep since that's when all their growth - especially brain development, takes place. SUPER important for brain development!

The University of Tucson conducted a study on 48 toddlers. They subjected the children to an artificial language and those children who napped within 4 to 8 hours of learning retained the information and were even picking up on speech patterns. While those who didn't nap - lost it all. {click here to read more about the study}

Interesting, so the brain pretty much digests and retains information while sleeping. So, sleep is important. And furthermore, if you really want your child to retain something, expose them to it right before nap time. That's kind of cool. I'm going to start doing learning activities more often right before naps.

Having said that...what do you do when your child outgrows nap time? My 2 1/2 yr old still takes 1-2 hour naps everyday...almost everyday. Sometimes she just isn't tired (probably due to a lack of physical activity - thanks a lot cold weather). But that's okay. We still try.

Even if she doesn't seem tired we go through the routine and she gets tucked in. After about 30-45 minutes (you'll have to vary this depending on your child - mine will play in her bed and sing songs to herself...if she was screaming it probably wouldn't last that long) I will go in and ask her if she's just not tired. It's usually pretty obvious that she's not. So...we now have quiet time.

The first day I did this I wasn't sure if it would work, I really didn't think it would. So, I kept a very upbeat, excited voice and announced - "You're not tired!? That's okay. You can have special quiet time!! Let's make your bed into a fun nest."

So we arranged pillows, blankets, stuffed animals and made it super cozy. Then I gave her loads of books and said, "When you can't sleep - you get to have quiet time! You can read books to your animals. You can even have a sippy of water in your bed! (which is very special, she never gets to keep food/drinks in her bed with her) I'll be in the other room. Have fun!"

And I walked out like everything was normal, leaving the door open. Keeping my fingers crossed I waited...and waited...she was so quiet I got a little worried. So I peaked around the corner and she was happily reading to her animals...

Shocked and overjoyed! She was in there for at least an hour and half. It was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! I love quiet time. So that's what we do now on those off days.

In fact, it's been such a hit - sometimes she'll have a good solid nap, I'll get her out of her bed and she'll ask if she can have quiet time...on those days it's like a special bonus - nap time + quiet pretty much rocks! I highly recommend it!

She doesn't have to stay in her bed - just in her room. Lovely. This still gives me a break, which my sanity requires. And this still gives her some down time - which she needs.


  1. We love quiet time at our house! The twins stopped taking naps about 5 months ago, and we've been replacing that with quiet time ever since. Works great! They enjoy the time reading books in their beds and talking to eachother. :)

  2. this is great! when we were little (granted, older than s though) we used to do "nothing" - which is what we called sitting in our room quietly coloring, or reading or listening to the radio on low. i think it's important stuff!

  3. I am scared to death of when nap time ends, especially with a new baby coming. But your post gives me some hope. :)

  4. When I nannied for 7 children under 6 years old, the oldest went to school all day, the four youngest took naps in the afternoon, and the two 4 year olds had quiet time. Many times, when I got to their house at 8 AM, one 4 year old, that several people thought had ADHD, would immediately ask when it was quiet time and she wanted it right then. She loved quiet time!


I love comments! It helps me to know what you're interesed in and what you would like to learn about. It also gives me the chance to get to know you better & find more qualified moms to be guest bloggers!

**I reserve the right to not publish a comment that is a personal attack on another reader - we all have differing views on parenting & this is a place where you can feel safe sharing your opinions. Please remember to be respectful!**


Related Posts with Thumbnails